THE STATE WATER PROJECT: FRESH WATER CALIFORNIA CAN COUNT ON
The State Water Project is a collection of 700 miles of canals, pipelines, reservoirs and hydroelectric power facilities that deliver water flowing from high in the Sierra Nevada mountains all the way to your tap. Two of every three Californians receives water from the State Water Project, which provides high-quality drinking water to 27 million Californians, 750,000 acres of farmland and businesses throughout the state. This complex water grid is the largest state-owned and operated water delivery system in the world, and drives California’s quality of life and economic vitality.
VALUE OF THE STATE WATER PROJECT
Since its construction in the 1960s, the State Water Project has remained an iconic engineering feat that enabled the substantial economic growth and innovation that has become the hallmark of California’s success. Climate change is creating a new normal in California — prolonged periods of drought, reduced snowpack, flashier and more unpredictable rainfall and sea-level rise. It is essential for the State Water Project to continue providing us with the water we use to drink, bathe, cook and irrigate our crops. As we seek to increase our resiliency to climate change, the State Water Project is an irreplaceable piece of California’s water puzzle, both now and into the future.
The State Water Project Provides:
HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS
California relies on the State Water Project as the backbone of the state’s water supply delivery system. The State Water Project moves water from Lake Oroville and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta during excess conditions to more than 27 million Californians — serving two-thirds of the state from the Bay Area to San Diego with high-quality water. California’s water supply depends on several factors, including rainfall, snowpack, runoff, water in storage facilities, and pumping capacity from the Delta. The amount of water available for distribution is also influenced by the need to protect our fish and wildlife, water quality, and environmental and legal restrictions.
California’s water supply depends on a number of factors. California’s statewide hydroclimate (i.e. rainfall, snowpack, precipitation and runoff), water in storage facilities and pumping capacity from the Delta can all impact the amount of water available for Californians and our environment. Operational constraints for fish and wildlife protection, water quality, and environmental and legal restrictions also play a role in informing water management actions and decisions. For the latest information on California’s statewide hydroclimate and State Water Project operations, please see our Delta Dashboard.
SOLVING OUR WATER ISSUES
Climate change is presenting California with tough challenges — extended periods of drought and fierce, unpredictable rainfall and snowfall events. The State Water Project helps California manage water supplies even with the unpredictability of climate change:
- Capacity to move and store water when there is excess water and it’s safe to do so
- Replenishing and recharging groundwater basins
- Filling reserve supplies to help get through extended periods of drought
- Reduced Reliance/Local Supply Development
- Flood Control
- Delta Conveyance
HYDROPOWER: MEETING THE STATE’S RENEWABLE ENERGY GOALS
By 2030, DWR will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent or more below 1990 levels. As California looks to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and increase our investment in renewable energy, hydroelectric power generated by the State Water Project will remain a critical part of our carbon-neutral energy future. In addition to providing 60% of its own energy needs with greenhouse gas emission-free power, the State Water Project is:
Increasing Energy Grid Reliability
Decreasing Clean Energy Costs
Reducing Water Supply Costs
Reducing GHG Emissions
To learn more about California’s State Water Project and the irreplaceable source of high-quality water it provides, please visit our State Water Project Resources page.